01/05/2012, 00.00
IRAQ
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Baghdad, two deadly attacks in Shiite districts

Fears of a civil war, fueled by past vengeance and the unequal distribution of resources and oil revenues. Since the American withdrawal, over 100 dead in several bombings.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) - At least 24 people were killed in a series of blasts in two of the Iraqi capital's Shiite neighborhoods around 9 o'clock this morning (local time). The Interior Ministry said the attacks took place in the neighborhoods of Sadr City and Kadhimiya and resulted in 66 injuries. One of the bombs was planted on a motorcycle, three more were in the parked cars. Given the rush hour, they hit passers-by and a group of day laborers, waiting to be hired by someone.

The attacks are a clear sign of growing tension between Sunni and Shiite groups, after the departure of American troops at the end of December. In the last days of the month following the announcement of U.S. withdrawal, a series of bombings claimed more than 100 deaths.

The tension seems to amplify the divisions in the government, which have become almost insurmountable after Prime Minister al-Maliki, a Shiite, issued an arrest warrant for the vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, the Sunni, accused of financing terrorist groups. Al-Hashemi denies all the charges and took refuge in northern Iraq, in the Kurdish region. His party, al-Iraqiyya is boycotting the proceedings in parliament and accused al-Maliki of seeking to monopolize power.

Several analysts have expressed fears of a possible civil war in which ethic ties and past vendettas may out way religious issues (the Sunnis were the party of Saddam Hussein), as well as the unequal distribution of resources and revenues from the sale of oil.

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